The Big To-Do List

Update: Don’t want to search for this list every time you need to see it? I’ve added a dedicated remodeling page!

Get ready for a mammoth of a list. Seriously.

While we aren’t redoing all the things we’d like to with Grandma’s house (because we’re renting, not buying, so we’re just doing upgrades to help her sell – which means that we’re adding a half bath instead of a full bath that requires removing an exterior door, and forgoing tons of upgrades such as moving the wall between the two bedrooms to even out the size, gutting the kitchen, gutting the bathroom, finishing the basement, and adding a large deck off the eat-in kitchen), we do have a lot of items to tackle. In fact, we have so many that we need to separate them by room! I’ll try to update this post periodically or copy the list into new posts as we go along so you can keep up.

Clark’s Bedroom (aka Rainbow Room)

  • Paint ceiling
  • Prime and paint walls
  • Prime and paint trim & closet doors
  • Add details to door and paint
  • Rip up orange shag carpet
  • Refinish hardwood floors
  • Change out ceiling fan
  • Change out or paint doorknob
  • Paint radiators

Living Room

  • Paint ceiling
  • Square out archways and add drywall
  • Prime and paint walls
  • Prime and paint trim and inside of door
  • Rip up green shag carpet
  • Mount flatscreen above fireplace
  • Refinish hardwood floors
  • Change out ceiling fan (move ceiling fan?)
  • Change out or paint fixtures
  • Add light in “entry” area
  • Rip out barnwood wall or stain? (Reader Poll?)
  • Change wiring and add new electric fireplace insert (that isn’t 40 years old and a fire hazard)
  • Stain fireplace mantel? Add more prominent mantelpiece?
  • Paint radiators
  • Add “built-in” bookcases on risers
  • Add trim to bookcases for custom look
  • Add crown moulding

Office (Formal Dining)

  • Paint ceiling
  • Square out doorway and add drywall
  • Remove American Colonial paneling
  • Repair paneling wall with spackle and sand
  • Prime and paint walls
  • Prime and paint trim
  • Paint radiators
  • Rip out green shag carpet
  • Refinish hardwood
  • Change out or paint fixtures
  • What to do with phone box?
  • Add crown moulding
  • Light fixture?

Master Bedroom

  • Paint ceiling
  • Rip out paneling in main area
  • Prime paneling in closet area
  • Take out old-fashioned decorative accents
  • Prime and paint walls/paneling
  • Replace ceiling fan (or just paint brass and switch out blades)
  • Frame out closet area
  • Add closet rods
  • Prime and paint trim and pocket door
  • Paint radiators
  • Turn 2nd pantry into half-bath attached to master?

Kitchen/Informal Dining

  • Replace industrial light fixture and patch surrounding area
  • Paint ceiling
  • Take down border
  • Temporarily paint paneling (replace with fresh drywall later)
  • Paint kitchen door with oil-based paint
  • Change out/paint hardware/fixtures
  • Change out cabinet fixtures
  • Paint or refinish cabinets? Including hallway cabinets
  • Add cabinet inserts (pull outs, etc.)
  • Replace kitchen sink and faucet
  • Update ceiling fan
  • Chisel out decorative tiles and replace with plain tiles
  • Regrout tiles or add new white grout on top
  • Update bar braces to more contemporary style
  • Paint laminate countertops
  • Paint trim and beam
  • Paint radiators
  • Remove flooring and install laminate, hardwood-look durable flooring
  • What to do with fireplace?
  • Remove bar and add island using upper cabinets mounted to the floor?
  • Replace dishwasher/cabinet?


  • Replace faucet/plumbing/shower head
  • Reporceline bathtub in white or replace bathtub?
  • Remove medicine cabinet over toilet – add metal wine rack as towel holder
  • Replace toilet!!!
  • Paint tile? Replace pink tiles? Remove tile from non-shower spaces and put in bathroom-grade drywall?
  • Stain vanity and update hardware
  • Replace seashell-shaped counter/sink and faucet
  • Replace floor tile
  • Update medicine cabinet stain/knobs
  • Update vanity light fixture
  • Update industrial light fixture/fan and patch surrounding area
  • Paint ceiling
  • Paint bathroom
  • Paint trim and pocket door
  • Paint radiators

Small Bedroom

  • Paint ceiling
  • Tear out paneling and patch with spackle
  • Paint walls and trim
  • Paint closet and pocket doors
  • Add crown moulding
  • Paint radiators
  • Remove brown shag carpet
  • Refinish hardwood


  • Paint everything (rafters and underside of main-level floor included) bright white
  • Section off laundry area and furnace area
  • Replace back room door
  • Add better lighting in cistern
  • Replace broken window in back room
  • Update bar in back room
  • Replace basement door (something with a frosted glass panel?)
  • Add full panels and banisters to stair rails
  • Concrete stain on floor?


  • Replace rotted wood trim/paint other wood trim
  • Paint porch ceiling
  • Power wash siding
  • Add permanent step to front door (steps?)
  • Replace porch railing
  • Add front path to porch
  • Box off gas meter from view
  • Update house number and wood paneling
  • Take out backyard flower boxes
  • Add a backyard stone patio
  • Add a firepit
  • Add a large garden
  • Fix side stairs or add handrail


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